Last week, we kicked off our fall legislative session with some major news — new state funds for affordable housing, increased investment in our 911 dispatch system, more investment in violence prevention, and a new program for activating our commercial corridors with events.
Let’s be clear. Community safety is Oakland’s top priority. I witness the fear, anger and trauma in our community and want you to know that your City is working hard and working collaboratively across city departments, with other government partners, and with community and business organizations. We’re responding with short term urgency to make things better now and with long-term strategies to address root causes that will pay future dividends of safe communities. We know these challenges are much bigger than Oakland and that there’s no quick fix and no single solution. But we know we can do better and that we must.
Let me also be clear. There are some in Oakland and across our nation who use fear to drive wedges between us. This is a time for love, not hate. It’s a time for unity and working as One Oakland. I remain committed to creating an Oakland where:
- children can walk to school and play in our parks,
- neighbors gather in community and patronize our local businesses,
- seniors feel secure and respected, and
- we all experience love, joy and healing with the foundation of a thriving neighborhood, good jobs, affordable housing, quality education and accessible healthcare.
Having recently approved a balanced budget, I want to look back at our collective work over the past six months. There is clearly more work to be done to house our neighbors living on our streets and ensure more working families do not lose their homes; to prevent senseless gun violence like the shooting that injured an 8 year old child on the freeway; and to keep our neighborhoods and business corridors clean, safe and thriving.
I will continue working with our community partners to advance an equitable Oakland for all of us, building on the foundation of our work during our first term. Here are some highlights from 2023 so far. My team and I look forward to building on this work with you.Read more
On Monday, Oakland City Council adopted a balanced two-year budget that preserves critical services while investing in our future. We made tough decisions to close a historic $360 million deficit, while also investing a record $216 million in affordable housing, expanding community safety, avoiding layoffs, and creating a "vacancy strike force" to fill vacant, budgeted positions to deliver services.
I want to thank the hundreds of community members who shared feedback on our budget priorities, and the City employees who make our city run by delivering critical services. I also want to appreciate Mayor Sheng Thao for her partnership on this budget and my Council President’s Budget Team — Councilmembers Carroll Fife, Kevin Jenkins, and Rebecca Kaplan. Our collective tenacity and resourceful helped to identify additional resources to deliver more services for our residents and businesses.Read more
This year was the first time that the City of Oakland raised the Juneteenth Flag, thanks to our staff at Oakland ROCKs, who also organized a week of events with resources and education around the journey of Justice, Resilience and Progress.
As we celebrate Juneteenth, we also mark the hard-fought recognition by African Americans that real emancipation from slavery is far from complete. Let us remember that true racial, social and economic justice is still a dream and goal to achieve. Let’s renew our call to action for justice, continue the struggle for liberation, and keep building Black, Asian and multi-racial solidarity.
Happy Pride to all of Oakland! We kicked off Pride Month at City Hall by raising the Pride Flag as a symbol of justice. We acknowledge that the first Pride was a response to violence against Queer and Trans people, and that today, injustice persists through anti-LGBTQ+ legislation across the country.
We recognize this month what we should be practicing every day through action — that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression — are valued members of our community.
Last Saturday, May 20th, about 150 community members came together at our D2 Budget Town Hall for an important dialogue about the priorities in our neighborhoods. Participants represented 5 languages, more than 7 neighborhoods, and formed 10 small groups to discuss and organize around how the City’s two-year budget will reflect our shared values and priorities!Read more
I am proud to recognize and affirm the many mothers - and all those who nurture - in our Oakland community this Mother’s Day, whether by blood or chosen family. As a mother to a college-going daughter, I know how important it is to have a village of support to rely on, and I am eternally thankful to all of the mothers in the community that have become a part of my village, and who are a village to others. May you enjoy this day with your mamas, children, and loved ones.
It's May Day, an international celebration of workers. It's also the day that Mayor Sheng Thao released her proposed two year budget. I commend Mayor Thao for her creative and thoughtful plan to achieve a balanced budget while avoiding layoffs, maintaining critical services, and making record investments in affordable housing. Read more below.Read more
As spring comes into bloom, I am excited to see more residents enjoying our amazing parks, hiking trails, and other natural resources. And to make sure that those parks and trails are in peak condition, I encourage you to engage in One Oakland Spring Clean — a week of events with Mayor Thao, Councilmembers and Staff, that will highlight services for residents that improve our communities, address safety concerns and reduce blight. The week will culminate on Earth Day weekend with various cleanup activities taking place around District 2 and Oakland. Learn more about the cleanups in your area here: oakland-volunteer-community-oakgis.hub.arcgis.com/pages/oakland-earth-day.Read more